The 16 Best Phillies GIFs of 2014

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These are the saddest of possible words:
“Rollins to Utley to Howard”
Trio of Phillies, all in their thirties,
Rollins and Utley and Howard.
An NL East dynasty turned into rubble
If they’re all back next year, problems may double
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Rollins and Utley and Howard”

With apologies to Franklin Pierce Adams

The Philadelphia Phillies finished up their season yesterday the same way they finished the last three: Out of the playoffs. The Phils finished with a 73-89 record for the second consecutive year. In yesterday’s finale, Cole Hamels pitched well and took the loss — an event that happened far too often for a pitcher that posted a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts but finished with just a 9-9 record.

With the Phillies out of the playoffs, I thought I’d share some of my favorite animated GIFs I made of Phillies games this season.

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Ex-Phillie Mitch Williams Suing MLB Network, Deadspin

Hey, what’s ol’ Mitchy-poo been up to? Oh, I see: He’s suing MLB Network and Deadspin stemming from a report Deadspin posted about Williams’ behavior at a youth tourney game this April.

Williams, the Daily News reports, is suing MLB Network for wrongful termination and defamation and Deadspin for defamation. After Deadspin posted its report — which included allegations of foul language by Williams and photos of him chest-to-chest with an ump at an under-10 tournament in New Jersey — Williams admitted being ejected from the game, but claimed it was the ump who was the problem.

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The Phillies Will Finish In Last Place For the First Time Since 2000

By virtue of a last night’s 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins, the Phillies sewed up last place in the National League East. It’s the first time the Phillies have finished in last place since 2000, Terry Francona’s last season as manager. That team lost 97 games and its best pitcher was Robert Person (Fan club: The Person People). So, things could be worse!

If you’d forgotten: Yes, these very same Phillies had the best record in baseball in 2010 and 2011. Not so very long ago!

If you want to feel better about the Phillies’ recent struggles, think how unprecedented this period of success was: The 13 consecutive seasons without a last-place finish is actually the third-longest stretch in team history! The Phillies avoided last place between 1974 and 1987 and between 1905 and 1918 — both 14-season stretches — and also avoided last place from their second season in 1884 to 1903 — an impressive 20-season mark.

Other than those stretches, Phillies’ history is pretty much entirely last place finishes. This season will be the 32nd last-place finish by the Phillies in 132 years of play. The Phillies have finished in dead last in 25 percent of seasons they’ve played.

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Five Great Philly Artifacts in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Mo'ne Davis will donate to the National Baseball Hall of Fame the jersey she wore in pitching a shutout at the Little League World Series.

Mo’ne Davis will donate to the National Baseball Hall of Fame the jersey she wore in pitching a shutout at the Little League World Series.

Mo’ne Davis appears at the National Baseball Hall of Fame today to donate they jersey she wore when she pitched a shutout at the Little League World Series — making history as one of the few girls to compete in the tournament. The hall will preserve her jersey in “perpetuity” — giving Davis a bit of baseball immortality while she’s still an adolescent.

We gave the National Baseball Hall of Fame a call and asked what other significant Philly-related items will be joined by Davis’s jersey. Matt Kelly compiled the text; Milo Stewart Jr. took the photos:

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Citizens Bank Park Is MLB’s Best Stadium for Getting a Home Run Ball

Citizens Bank Park

Photo | Jeff Fusco

The Wall Street Journal did an analysis of 1,000 random home runs from the 2014 major league baseball season and crunched the numbers: How many were caught and dropped, how many were hit in areas where fans could catch them and how many fights broke out over home run balls (three).

The Journal also noted which parks had the highest number of home runs that were retrieved by fans: And Citizens Bank Park tied for first. Eighty-five percent of home runs at CBP were caught or picked up by fans, tying it with AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco for the highest-total in the majors. It’s no surprise, as these are the finest stadiums on each coast. In contrast, fans at O.co Coliseum in Oakland get just 33 percent of homers.

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Jonathan Papelbon Suspended 7 Games for Grabbing Crotch

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon argues with Umpire Joe West after being ejected from the game against the Miami Marlins in the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Philadelphia. The Marlins won 5-4.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon argues with Umpire Joe West after being ejected from the game against the Miami Marlins in the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Philadelphia. The Marlins won 5-4.

Yesterday, we we told you about Jonathan Papelbon’s ejection for grabbing his crotch as he walked off the field after blowing a save. On Tuesday, MLB suspended Papelbon seven games for the incident.

Officially, the suspension was also for making contact with umpire Joe West after West ejected Papelbon for grabbing his crotch as he walked off the field. Papelbon won’t appeal his suspension, and will get a weeklong vacation from what could be a 90-loss team.

It’s quite easy to note how long Papelbon’s suspension is, compared to other MLB bans. Intentionally throwing at a player gets you about four games. Domestic abusers are rarely punished. Ditto DUIs. It’s kind of hilarious. Seven games for grabbing his crotch!

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Phillies’ Jonathan Papelbon Ejected After Blowing Save, Grabbing Crotch

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Jonathan Papelbon gave up four runs in the top of the ninth inning, blowing his fourth save of the year in the Phillies’ 5-4 loss to the Marlins. Papelbon has actually been pretty good for the Phillies this year — he’s saved 37 games, and is having his best year of his three seasons with the Phillies — but was booed as he walked off the field after surrendering a three-run lead.

This is when things got interesting. As you can tell from the back page of Monday’s Daily News, Papelbon grabbed his crotch as he left the field. Was it directed at the crowd? Papelbon said afterward it wasn’t: The umpire “basically came over and said that I did an inappropriate gesture and I had no clue what he was talking about,” Papelbon told reporters afterward.

That ump, Joe West, saw otherwise. “The whole thing started because the fans booed him, and he made an obscene gesture,” West told a pool reporter. “He had no business doing that. He’s got to be more professional than that. And that’s why he was ejected.”

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